When Salesforce consulting firms help their clients create a strategy for how to use Salesforce, they often refer to this as Salesforce Advisory Services. While Advisory Services is a popular term, there can be ambiguity about what it actually entails. What activities are involved in an Advisory Services engagement? When should organizations consider Advisory Services?
What is Salesforce Advisory Services?
Advisory is an often misunderstood term. It’s not just about giving advice, there are specific types of activities and deliverables included in this work. Much of this work requires a deep understanding of the platform and technology. The goal of Advisory Services is to provide direction for a Company’s Salesforce org: defining vision, outcomes, and potential projects that align with a company’s strategic goals.
The Salesforce platform is a central part of the advisory engagement, but it is not only about technology. Can be delivered by a number of different parties:
- Advisory Firm or Consultant
- System Integrator
- Salesforce Professional Services
- In House
Not every advisor will have expertise in all possible areas of advisory. Make sure to select an advisory with the right expertise & focus for your needs.
Types of Advisory Services
When you think of Advisory work, what kinds of activities or services come to mind?
- Outcomes & Metrics
- Journey Mapping
- Best Practices
- Business Case
- Architecture Strategy
- Staffing Strategy
- Product Selection
- Vendor Selection
In the Discovery phase, we need to do Interviews/Elicitation, Research & Needs Analysis. It determine high-level vision and goals for the organization’s customer/constituent relationship management capabilities. May include exercises like Challenge Framing, Job Stories.
Assessment of Current State:
- Business Process
- Organizational Structure
- Team Dynamics
3. Outcomes & Metrics Definition
Identifying and Prioritizing Desired Business Outcomes. Important:
- An Outcome is a positive/desired change in customer behavior. Ex: 25% increase in the number of bookings for our product demo
- Outcomes provide a shared definition of success across IT and Business
- Read More: Outcomes over Outputs by Josh Seiden
Defining Metrics to measure Outcomes.
4. Journey Mapping
Journey Mapping analyzes Customer Facing experience. It identifies pain points and opportunities multiply dimensions: Process, Actions, Thoughts, Feelings, Touchpoints, Context, and Opportunities.
Identifying possible opportunities to achieve desired outcomes. Opportunity Solution Trees (tool by Teresa Torres). How Might We brainstorm Opportunities could be technology, process, organizational, creative (copy, graphic design), etc.
6. Best Practices
What is the consensus best practice among practitioners? How are other organizations solving this business problem? Best practices may include Salesforce platform best practices as well as domain/business best practices (marketing, sales, service, vertical-specific, etc).
7. Business Case
Create a written Business Case document/deck. Cost Benefit Analysis. Business Case deliverable is a valuable tool for getting buy-in across the organization. Business Case should resonate with IT and Business.
8. Architecture Strategy
Document current state Data & Systems architecture. Propose future state architecture/improvements and rollout/phasing strategy important to find the right level of detail. For an Advisory engagement, we wouldn’t expect an exhaustive Architectural assessment. At the same time, the assessment needs to be deep enough to provide meaningful insights & recommendations.
9. Staffing Strategy
Define the Org chart, Job descriptions, In House vs. External (Consultant/Freelance/Fractional)
Recommendations & Options. Roadmapping should be focused on desired outcomes rather than features.
11. Product Selection
Assess Salesforce, Appexchange or 3rd party products available. Build vs Buy analysis. Research, Proof of Concept
12. Vendor Selection
Helping client select a Partner / System Integrator to deliver implementation/projects or managed services.
Salesforce Advisory Services Video
Learn the ways that Salesforce professionals can build their Advisory & Strategy skills.
How to build your Advisory Skills
- Know the Salesforce platform and best practices
- Get Involved with the Salesforce ecosystem, build your network and research how other experts are solving for similar business cases
- Get experience working with Senior Stakeholders
- Get the Strategy Design Certification